Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Etiquette Challenge: Final Strokes
Can I call you "Blushing"?
I wondered what you do in those last ten minutes before the guests arrive? My Mother contends they are the most critically spent entertaining minutes.
Certainly. I respond to "Blushing," also "Hostess," and on one particular notable blog, "Blushtess." Frankly, given two of my professional lives, I've been called far worse, but thank you kindly for asking.
Although I had not previously given one iota of a thought to it, seems to me, your Mama is right. Some people were in for a birthday lunch this past Saturday and, per your request, I made a few notes:
1. I penned up the dogs, making sure to insult the Cairn twice because I was still hot over his trying to viciously attack me in my sleep.
2. I applied more blush and some lipstick, then made a clicking sound with my tongue and front teeth because I still could not locate my big cuff bracelet (that dog may or may not have had something to do with that issue, too).
3. I uncorked two bottles of wine, one red, one white, expertly slicing my thumb wide open on the foil of the latter then squeeeeeeeeeealing like a stuck pig and feigning a dramatic swoon while holding my arm aloft and applying pressure to my bicep. Then I wrapped the whole thing in yards of paper towel and quickly poured myself a glass. I took a seat for a moment panting after this harrowing episode while I pondered whether these obvious talents with survival skills and entertaining would make a good reality show: The Entertaining Survivalist, "Roughing it with Cannibals" or something gracious like that...
4. Then, off I went into the guest bath and gave the hyacinth a good shake, which everyone knows makes hyacinth powerful enough to scent Yankee Stadium. Then the same in living room. I believe in flowers not Febreeze. Best to stay away if you have an allergy.
5. I illuminated the faux candles (it was a first birthday party).
6. I noted the time.
7. I took a paper towel to a spot on the floor.
8. I heard the doorbell, dramatically ripped the paper towel bandaging from my (entire) arm, smiled, and opened the door.
Right then, it was seven minutes before the appointed hour. I would have to add to your Mother's caution that those ten minutes are the most important perhaps, but in truth, they begin twenty minutes before the party. There is always an early bird.
And Ash, I love a Vicksburg tomato sandwich.
Now, I leave you with the readers who will certainly have anecdotes to share.